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#1 Urban Legend

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 04:59 PM

How far can I shoot my crossbow? This is one of the most commonly asked questions from the beginning crossbow hunter. I wish there was one concrete answer to give to people when they ask this question, but as you read on, you will soon find out that there are too many variables that come into play when factoring out the equation. Let’s take a look at some of them.

First and foremost, you should take an honest look at your own personal skill level shooting a crossbow. Are you confident with your shot at 20 yards but not at 30 yards? Or is 30 yards a shot you can make all day long? Not every crossbow hunter will have the same skill level, or the same amount of time to practice with his or her crossbow. You should never take a shot at an animal unless you are 100% confident that you can make it.

Next is the terrain you are hunting in. A 40 yard shot in a wide open bean field has a much higher percentage (if you do everything right) then a 40 yard shot in thick cover or brush. Take your surrounding habitat into consideration when deciding your maximum shooting distance. You may find that your max distance for one setup may be different from the next setup do to a change in cover or shooting lanes.

Another overlooked factor that comes into play that we cannot control is the overall demeanor of the animal we are after. Is it very calm and relaxed while feeding, with out a care in the world? Or has its sixth sense kicked in and acting like it is walking on eggshells? Knowing the body language of the animal you are hunting can play a big role in determining not only how far you should shoot, but also when you should shoot.

How are you as the hunter feeling at the time of the shot? Are you calm and cool, or is your heart feel like it is going to jump out of your chest because it’s beating so fast? Remember, making a long shot on a practice target that can’t move, in the comfort of your own backyard, is a lot different then shooting a live animal. Take that extra breath and try to regain some composure before squeezing that trigger.

Weather can also play a role when determining how far you can shoot your crossbow. Are you hunting on a nice sunny bluebird day with no wind? Or is the wind blowing 30 mile per hour? Not only can wind affect your arrow flight, but if you’re in a tree, it can effect how still you can aim your crossbow too. How’s your visibility? Is it the last half hour before dark, and you’re under a thick canopy of treetops that makes the woods darker than they should be? Talk to any bow hunter that has some time in the woods and they will tell you a story about the big one that got away because they hit a sapling or tree limb they just couldn’t see at the time.

As you can see, there are many factors that come into play other than how fast or how powerful your crossbow is when it comes to deciding how far you want to shoot. You owe it to yourself and more importantly the animal you are hunting to take the highest percentage shot you can. Remember folks, we are bow hunting here. It’s all about getting close to the animals. The better hunter is the hunter that shoots hi animal at 10 yards not the hunter that shoots his animal at 60 yards. Here’s something to think about before you take that next shot. I read this somewhere down the line and it has always stuck with me. Ask yourself if you would be willing to pay a $1000.00 ticket for wounding or missing the animal you set your sight s on the next time you take a shot. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t be taking the shot.

#2 thirdhandman

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:05 PM

Good article Jeff: I especially agree with the last paragraph. If you would be willing to pay a $1000 fine for wounding the animal and are still willing to take the shot then do it.
One other thing we need to consider it the fact that a deer can hear a sound and react by starting to run in 1/8th. of a second. At 300 ft. per second it takes about 1/4 second to reach the deer. In that amount of time the deer can drop ten inches to load their front legs to run. If ya don't mind a little advice from an old deer hunter. Be confident in your yardage and aim for the heart. If you hit the heart you will get your deer. If the deer drops to load its legs and you aimed at the heart you will likely get the lungs. A double lung with a big broadhead you will watch em drop. They just can't run without air. :rolleyes:

#3 hunlee

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:24 PM

Hunlee not have any hesitateion to shoot 40 or 50 yard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hunlee Maybee shoots evin more under rite conditions say deer feeding or the like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hunlee shoots mule deer buck in western state with bow an arrow over 80 yard,,,,,,,,,hunlee is no braggart but just stateing factual event :D Hunlee not sugest to anyone to do this but yous no yur limitation :mellow:

hunlee

#4 Cossack

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:33 AM

Hunlee not have any hesitateion to shoot 40 or 50 yard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hunlee Maybee shoots evin more under rite conditions say deer feeding or the like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hunlee shoots mule deer buck in western state with bow an arrow over 80 yard,,,,,,,,,hunlee is no braggart but just stateing factual event :D Hunlee not sugest to anyone to do this but yous no yur limitation :mellow:

hunlee


Hunlee want tell us about animals wounded in process of not becoming a braggart?!!!!!!!!!!.

#5 Cossack

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:45 AM

Some hunting concessions in Africa, which charge a trophy fee per kill, count a wounded animal/unrecovered as a kill and apply it to the license. Great idea but unenforceable here. Knowing your limitations is one thing; knowing the games' is quite another. IMO, animal reaction to sound and motion is totally unpredictable at anything much over 30 yards given the speed of an average crossbow. Shooting at relaxed, unaware animals is key, as is practice until muscle memory is ingrained and fresh. Passing on marginal shots is all important too. In more than half century of hunting, the singular accomplishment as a hunter that I am proudest of is not a single big game animal lost with bow or gun..

#6 Zrt1200

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:04 AM

Good article UL.

#7 hunlee

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:46 PM

Hunlee say this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!anyone that has hunted for more than 50 year without one loss has 1. not killed anything 2.kill very few animals or 3.is a liar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only 3 choice in this case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hunlee

#8 edge

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:07 PM

IMO, we all hunt for different reasons.

GETTING CLOSE has NEVER been a factor for me!
If I decide to shoot an animal then I shoot the very first high percentage chance I get!

Personally if folks "respect" the animal then perhaps you shouldn't kill it then eat it!
I enjoy hunting whether I kill or not and just because someone feels all proud because he got close because he hid up a tree high enough to not alarm any animals seems silly to me.

If you want to be a "real hunter" then hunt from the ground!

I bet that got some of your hackles up.....didn't it?
IMO, if it did then perhaps you should stop judging what others do and do what feels right for you....unless you want them telling you how you should hunt.
Hmmm....sounds a lot like the vertical anti crossbow guys trying to tell all of us the we are unethical!!

But then again that is what I do and you are not bound by my rules.

edge.
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#9 BlackBoarDown

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:30 PM

Good information Jeff. Well done ..

#10 Urban Legend

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:08 PM

Thanks guys. These articles, (which will stay posted in the articles section) are guides to help the newbie get pointed in the right direction. They are starting points to help the beginner hunter or the cross over gun hunter. If it doesn't apply to you, so be it.

#11 jopsa

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 05:25 PM

One other thing we need to consider it the fact that a deer can hear a sound and react by starting to run in 1/8th. of a second. At 300 ft. per second it takes about 1/4 second to reach the deer. In that amount of time the deer can drop ten inches to load their front legs to run.


300 fps (arrow speed) * 1/8 s (deer reaction) = 37,5 foots
Sound speed = 1116 foots per second.
300 fps = 0,2687 sound speed.
So deer will hear a shot when the arrow 300 fps fly about 10 foots


About 10 foots + 37,5 foots = about 47,5 foots = JUST ABOUT 16 YARDS!!!!! (maximum distance without any deer reaction). Hard to believe how close!

The better hunter is the hunter that shoots hi animal at 10 yards not the hunter that shoots his animal at 60 yards.


You have absolutely right. I do not understand the motivation of archers/crossbowmens who want to shoot at a very long distances. For long distances enthusiast are dedicated varmint rifles, no bows.

#12 edge

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 05:46 PM

jopsa, very good.

So if you shoot a quiet bow from a longer distance then it will only hear the arrow coming and not the bow!

I have shot many deer with a bow, easily well over 100.
Deer see movement and that is generally what spooks deer in the 20 yard range. Obviously a loud bow is loud at close range so that can be an issue too. I have shot deer that jumped then continued to eat acorns then fell over with archery gear.

IMO, the worst distance for a deer is between 15 and 25 yards.
They will hear your bow or they may see you. As you shoot past 25 yards the sound of the woods will drown out all but the loudest bows.

edge.

PS while I do find the majority view here a bit caught up with the "do it my way or you are wrong" viewpoint, I do find this website very refreshing in that I can state my opinion and not be castigated or banned like my local website. :)

#13 jopsa

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:07 PM

Edge, you write wisely. Just tell me, how shot accurate at 100 yards? (my right eye is completely blind, left -7 diopter + astigmatism). You always hit accurate at 100 yards? Never just hurt poor animal? If so - congratulations.

#14 hfisher

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:44 PM

I can hit accurate at 60 yrds with my crossbow but that is at a target, I wouldn't take a shot at a deer any farther than 30 yrds and would like them between 15 and 20. To me shooting at a target is a lot different than at a deer.

Howard

#15 edge

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:51 PM

Edge, you write wisely. Just tell me, how shot accurate at 100 yards? (my right eye is completely blind, left -7 diopter + astigmatism). You always hit accurate at 100 yards? Never just hurt poor animal? If so - congratulations.


I don't know, I have not shot at 100 yards!

Why do you ask?

I suppose I could be like you, you seem to be attacking personally.....let me see, by your own admission you have poor eyesight.
I declare you unfit to hunt animals as you may harm them.

Sorry hang up your bow your hunting days are over!

"So let it be written. So let it be done." :) :)

edge.

#16 SteveC

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:06 PM

Hunlee say this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!anyone that has hunted for more than 50 year without one loss has 1. not killed anything 2.kill very few animals or 3.is a liar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only 3 choice in this case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hunlee


Well, granted... I haven't been hunting for 50 years; only 45. I have killed my share of whitetail in the northeastern states over those years. I've never lost one yet. Have I had 'em jump the string and shoot under 'em? Hit a tree as someone eluded to earlier? <_< You betcha! But, I've never wounded an animal. It comes from respecting your quarry and having ethics. Call it take whatever number suits you. Personally, I know the truth and that's what counts.

Great article btw. Loved the $1000 comment and "The better hunter is the hunter that shoots hi animal at 10 yards not the hunter that shoots his animal at 60 yards", as well.

#17 edge

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:42 PM

SNIP.

I've never lost one yet. Have I had 'em jump the string and shoot under 'em? Hit a tree as someone eluded to earlier? <_< You betcha! But, I've never wounded an animal. It comes from respecting your quarry and having ethics. Call it take whatever number suits you. Personally, I know the truth and that's what counts.

Great article btw. Loved the $1000 comment and "The better hunter is the hunter that shoots hi animal at 10 yards not the hunter that shoots his animal at 60 yards", as well.


Hmmm, you admit to having been lucky to have not wounded an animal and have the gall to preach.....IMO you absolutely need to stand in front of a mirror and look up the word sanctimonious.

Not judging, just holding up the light of truth!

edge.

#18 SteveC

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:01 PM

Hmmm, you admit to having been lucky to have not wounded an animal and have the gall to preach.....IMO you absolutely need to stand in front of a mirror and look up the word sanctimonious.

Not judging, just holding up the light of truth!

edge.


You're entitled to your opinion. sanctimonious? Not the intent. The insinuation of being called a liar if those are the facts just rather riled me. Just because someone can't make a statement of fact doesn't give them the right to attempt to berate those who can.

And with that, I will shutup on the subject.

#19 jopsa

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:30 AM

I don't know, I have not shot at 100 yards!
Why do you ask?


Edge, sorry, my English is not the best, so I read incorrectly, that you shoot at a distance of 100 yards. Misunderstanding. Sorry again!

I belive that most exciting is as close as possible to the animal approaches. Belive me or not: the previous autumn I went to the roe-deer buck at 7 yards. Each step, when a deer hide a head in the high grass. I chose a day when strong loud wind blew from the opposite side. It was so fascinating that there was no need to shoot for the greater satisfaction. Edge, hang up vertical, but my crossbow hunting days just begin!
My favorite crossbow hunting video:


#20 hunlee

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:11 PM

Hunlee say this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!anyone that has hunted for more than 50 year without one loss has 1. not killed anything 2.kill very few animals or 3.is a liar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only 3 choice in this case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hunlee



hunlee